Netflix sets up Canadian base at Pinewood Toronto and Cinespace
James R | On 26, Feb 2019
Netflix is creating a dedicated production hub in Toronto, choosing two studio spaces in Toronto that expand its production presence in Canada.
At Cinespace Studios, Netflix will lease four sound stages, along with office space and support space totaling approximately 164,000 square feet. At Pinewood Toronto Studios, Netflix will also lease four sound stages and adjacent office space, comprising a total footprint of approximately 84,580 square feet.
In total, both sites will support upcoming Netflix series and films, including the horror anthology series Guillermo del Toro Presents Ten After Midnight, the film Let It Snow and others, which will provide production jobs for up to 1,850 Canadians per year. The new spaces add to Netflix’s existing physical production footprint in Canada, which already includes a lease of British Columbia’s Martini Film Studios, as well as production sites Netflix sets up on a production-by-production basis.
Netflix has produced a number of series and films in Canada, starting in 2012 with horror series Hemlock Grove (Toronto), and including the Emmy Award-winning A Series of Unfortunate Events (Vancouver), Lost in Space (Vancouver),The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Vancouver) and films 1922 (Vancouver), The Package (multiple locations in British Columbia), Game Over Man (Vancouver), Christmas Inheritance (Northern Ontario), Death Note (Vancouver), How It Ends (Winnipeg), Hold the Dark (Calgary and Kananaskis Country), The Holiday Calendar (Northern Ontario), In The Tall Grass (multiple locations in Ontario, and Calgary), In the Shadow of the Moon (Toronto), Polar (Toronto), Always Be My Maybe (Vancouver), Good Sam (Montreal), I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (Ottawa) and The Christmas Chronicles (Toronto). Current series filming in Canada include V-Wars (Northern Ontario) and October Faction (Toronto), along with an untitled film starring Sam Worthington, directed by Brad Anderson (Winnipeg), and an untitled film to be directed by Patrice Laliberté in Quebec.
In addition, Netflix has partnered with Canadian production partners to co-produce series for global audiences including Anne with an E (CBC), Travelers (Showcase), Frontier (Discovery Canada) and limited series Alias Grace (CBC).
The studio leases follow a pledge made by Netflix in 2017 to invest $500 million in content production in Canada over the five years to 2022. The streaming giant is currently on track to exceed that investment.
“By putting the right conditions in place to attract jobs and opportunities to the province, our Government working for the People is sending a clear message that Ontario is open for business,” says the Honourable Michael Tibollo, Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “Today’s announcement demonstrates that Ontario is now one of the most attractive places in the world for investment. We are creating an environment for job creators and workers to thrive, including in Ontario’s industry-leading film production sector.”
“I’ve been excited from day one about the interest Netflix has shown in establishing a much bigger presence in Toronto,” remarks Toronto Mayor John Tory. “Great crews, great studio space, great customer service and great companies like Netflix make Toronto the best place in North America to make television shows and movies.”
“With this commitment to Cinespace and Pinewood Toronto, we are proud to continue our investment in Canada and Canadian films and series,” adds Ty Warren, Vice President, Physical Production for Netflix. “These new leases will enable us to expand our presence in Canada and provide a wealth of production jobs for skilled Canadian workers.”
“With Cinespace having hosted 2 Best Picture Oscar winners – Chicago and The Shape of Water – and having catalyzed tens of thousands of jobs in the Studio District and on Toronto’s waterfront, Netflix has made an auspicious choice for its new production hub and the Cinespace family welcomes them. We are especially gratified to be creating a new inventory of studio and support space for Netflix to fill with new production volumes and new jobs, while they capitalize on both Cinespace’s 30-year track record of success and Toronto’s longstanding position as a global leader in film and TV production,” comments Steve Mirkopoulos, CEO, Cinespace.
“Pinewood Toronto Studios is delighted to be welcoming Netflix to Toronto’s largest purpose-built studio facilities,” says Nanci MacLean, President, Pinewood Toronto Studios. “Our world-class facilities have been home to iconic and award-winning productions like Star Trek: Discovery, Molly’s Game, Room, Suicide Squad, and IT. With our 200,000 square foot expansion underway, Pinewood Toronto Studios is a hub of creativity and innovation, offering clients the ability to be efficient and flexible, as well as access to Toronto’s stellar production community.”